The New Zealand Guild of Storytellers
I was aware of some of Keith’s views on life from The Flying Tortoise blog which he published for many years. I was fortunate to be travelling in the Auckland / Northland area when he was performing ¬†with The Dirt Road Orchestra at The Kumeu Arts Centre, once again presenting their wonderful ‘Love Death And Geraniums’ program.
The audience was light on the night but to Keith’s credit, he started promptly on time, showing much respect for those who were there and performing as though it was a full house.
His approach and manner to performing is refreshingly simple, intimate and seemingly so relaxed and easy. It’s hard for me to describe the effect of allowing Keith’s rhyming stories and soft, gentle voice to wash over me. The experience allowed me to relax and take in a sense of connection with the simple tales of life he presented.
By half time I was so relaxed it was as if I’d just done a yoga class or finished a meditation.
The format for the evening was simple. Keith would tell one or two stories and The Dirt Road Orchestra would perform a song. They worked together in perfect harmony. Even just to contemplate some of the titles of Keith’s stories tells you something deep and meaningful is happening. ‘There’s Nowhere to Hide’. ‘Those Wasted Years’. ‘Walking The Talk’. ‘There are Those’, ‘Lost and Found’. ‘The Joy of Nothing’, ‘He’s My Brother’. ‘Right Till The End’. ‘Even The Blind Can See’. ‘Not In Our Back Yard’. ‘Will You’. ‘A Mile In His Shoes’. ‘Don’t You Love It’.
His is a thoughtful performance, quiet and quite riveting. More people need to hear these stories.
They are told with a sense of commitment, connection, warmth and intimacy which is so needed in today’s fast paced and distorted world.
Hats off to you Keith. You are a ray of sunshine. A gift to those who take the time to hear your truths.
Jimu Grimmett. Entertainer, Nelson.

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